Sometime in the next month, the Wizards and Bradley Beal will or will not come to an agreement on a contract extension. The way things are going, it’s looking like the latter.
The Wizards have until November 2 to give Beal an extension (the deadline is normally October 31, but since that date falls on a Saturday this year, the deadline is the next business day), and all reports indicate that he wants a max deal. Last week, the Washington Post‘s Jorge Castillo reported that the Wizards offered him a deal lower than what he’s seeking:
Bradley Beal will almost certainly sign a long-term contract with the Washington Wizards by next summer, though he likely won’t sign a four-year extension by the Halloween deadline. That’s because he wants the maximum salary available and the Wizards have offered him less than that, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, because they want maximum salary-cap flexibility for free agents in July.
However, this week at camp, Beal contradicted that report, saying the team has not offered him a contract of any kind:
The Wizards are in a tough spot. They want to keep Beal around long term, but they don’t want to kill their flexibility for next summer now. They’ve been linked to Kevin Durant for months, and they want to have the most cap space possible to be able to potentially add him and other free agents. Beal’s cap hold if he hits restricted free agency will be $7.4 million, while the first year of a potential extension could start as high as $20 million. Even if they plan on signing him to that deal eventually, they would ideally like to put off that number actually going on their books until after they make whatever moves they’re going to make. That’s what the Spurs did with Kawhi Leonard, keeping him on a low cap hold this summer to give themselves the cap space necessary to sign LaMarcus Aldridge, and then re-upping Leonard for a five-year, $95 million deal. Beal is going to be with the Wizards going forward, whether the deal gets done now or next July. It’s just in Washington’s best interests to wait.